What is a Family-Based Green Card?

There are a variety of ways to obtain citizenship in this country. There is a lot of immigration information to know for this process, and there are a range of possible visas depending on your specific situation. In addition to all of this, it is possible to be eligible for legal permanent status through family members. Such availability of Family-Based Green Cards is in line with U.S. immigration law’s emphasis on family unification. For those eligible to obtain legal permanent resident status, Zohar Law offers assistance with the legal processes and eligibility requirements. Many people are able to obtain Green Cards through family members already residing in the U.S. but need to meet one of several possible criteria in order to qualify. Some of the possible criteria are as follows.

Immediate Relative of U.S. Citizen

One of the most straightforward pathways to citizenship is through being an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. What, exactly, qualifies as an immediate relative? This includes the following:

  • Spouses — this includes two individuals who are recognized as having a legal union such as marriage
  • Parents — this includes the parents of citizens only aged 21 or older
  • Children — children of legal citizens are eligible so long as they are under the age of 21

Family Member of U.S. Citizen Who Fits Into Preference Category

Certain family members are eligible even if they are not considered immediate relatives. Eligibility of such a family members requires that they fall into what’s known as preference category. Family members in preference categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available, which is determined based on the preference category into which they fall. Preferences include the following:

  • Unmarried children over the age of 21
  • Married children of any age
  • Brothers or sisters of U.S. citizens, aged 21 or older

Family Member of a Green Card Holder

It isn’t only family members of current U.S. citizens who are eligible for legal status. Family members of Green Card holders are also able to qualify. Though eligibility here can be comparatively limited, these family members can include the following:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children of the sponsoring card holder

Member of a Special Category

Lastly, members of certain special categories can be also be eligible. Special categories include folks who don’t necessarily fall into the previous categories but can still qualify due to special circumstances. Special categories can include the following:

  • Battered spouse or children (VAWA)
  • K nonimmigrant, a V nonimmigrant—which allows for fiancés and spouses to stay in the U.S. while awaiting Green Card status
  • Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen
  • Person born to a foreign diplomat

Immigration Information with Zohar Law Firm

The legal team at Zohar Law Firm in Manhattan is proud to offer their services to people from all over the globe in obtaining legal status within the United States. To learn more about securing a Green Card or other pathways to citizenship, contact our immigration lawyers today in New York City. Our team conducts personal, confidential consultations, so we can get an understanding of your situation and which legal services might be best for you.